Tennessee recovered nicely from its loss to Georgia with a win over Missouri headed into Saturday’s game against South Carolina ranked No. 5. But while the Volunteers entered with realistic hopes of making the College Football Playoff, those hopes were thoroughly squashed by the Gamecocks.
The night was a pure disaster for Tennessee. South Carolina’s offense overpowered the Volunteers on defense. The Gamecocks scored a touchdown on all but three possessions. Two of those “failures” to score came when the first half and game ended, respectively. When it was over, the Volunteers were on the short side of a 63-38 final score.
Even before the Gamecocks scored their final touchdown, Tennessee had already made the wrong kind of program history.
56 points are the most points Tennessee has allowed to an unranked opponent in school history pic.twitter.com/3GBUxkLsRB
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 20, 2022
And Tennessee set another record when South Carolina scored its final touchdowns.
The 63 points South Carolina scored on Tennessee tonight are the most by an unranked team against an AP Top-5 opponent in the Poll Era.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 20, 2022
College football fans had a lot to say about Tennessee’s awful showing in South Carolina.
Tennessee continues to break records in 2022 https://t.co/u5aDzFqjqQ
— Trent Smallwood (@SmallwoodTrent) November 20, 2022
That's going back to 1936.
There'll be some car door slamming in the streets of Columbia, SC tonight! (Monty Python reference). https://t.co/eSSwx3cVTM
— Scott Rabalais (@RabalaisAdv) November 20, 2022
Tennessee looks set to become just the 2nd team ever to be ranked #1 in a CFP ranking and miss the College Football Playoff. Historic!
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) November 20, 2022
Tennessee fans so worried about a rematch you better worry about a rematch with Pitt in the Mayo Bowl
— Baxter Street Boys (@baxstboys) November 20, 2022
96 PERCENT of the money at @CaesarsSports today was on Tennessee to cover as 22.5 point favorites over South Carolina.
They LOSE by 25.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 20, 2022
South Carolina fans should rush the field, tear down the goalpost and walk it all the way to the Tennessee River.
— Clint Lamb (@ClintRLamb) November 20, 2022
The Top Five CFP Teams trying to avoid upsets today:
1. Georgia: “Whew that was close.”
2. Ohio State: “Whew that was close.”
3. Michigan: “Whew that was close.”
4. TCU: “Whew that was close.”
— The Dawgzilla (@TheDawgzilla) November 20, 2022
This is the worst loss in Tennessee history.
You can deny it, but you’re wrong.
— ZehDuck (@ZehDuck) November 20, 2022
Tennessee had their Linsanity run see y’all in the Cheez-It Bowl
— TheTrackSportsTalkATL Jake (1-0 in GOTYs) (@cantguardjake) November 20, 2022
And as bad as the outcome of the game was, the disaster didn’t stop there for the Volunteers. In the fourth quarter, Hendon Hooker, Tennessee’s starting quarterback and Heisman hopeful, was injured, going down on a dreaded non-contact injury.
Tennessee has had a lot go its way during the 2022 season — including an epic victory over Alabama. The last three weeks, though, have been nothing short of abysmal for the Volunteers..